25 August, 2009

Better get Me a Stepstool

I just did a height predictor on my children since they were each weighed and measured in the last week.

Based on their data along with Descartes' and my height:

Lucy at age 18 is predicted to be 6 feet 1 inch tall
Jake at age 18 is predicted to be 6 feet 6 inches tall.

wow. no wonder the grocery bill is out of control.

19 August, 2009

Our First Grape Harvest

Lucy and I just scrambled up the hill a bit and grabbed half of the chardonnay grapes. Over the years, Descartes and I have scavenged about 5 grape vines from those carts that are just about to be sent to the back so plants can be thrown away. This is the first year I've bothered to water or stake them. The minute I staked them up they started growing like crazy. Lucy and I had a silly day a few months ago sliding down the hill while I tied the grape vines up. Aside from water use I believe they have now paid for themselves with this harvest.. We also discovered about 10 pomegranates which are ripening away, the next batch of lemons and at least 15 tangelos which need to be picked.
I love California.

17 August, 2009

All Over but the Uniforms

Summer is almost at an end. We've been busy.

Summer School for Jake
was awful. I'm not sure how it could have been worse. Jake did not get along with his aide, the regular teacher was out on maternity leave, school was, at the last minute set up on a different campus, the bus driver was scared of Jake, and Jake seemed to be in a permanent state of "episode". The last day of school I broke down in tears because the aide told me I could not take home Jake's icon book. It was resolved, but not before I made an ass of myself emailing the director of Special Ed trying to figure out what possible reason they had to deny a kid the chance to communicate by keeping a folder filled with laminated construction paper in a box inside a locked classroom. Of course the aide somehow got it wrong and we were allowed to take it home.

Lucy's Birthday(s)
Lucy had I think maybe 5 birthday parties. One with grandparents, one at daycare, one with her favorite babysitters and a buddy, one with her cousins and some close family friends, then finally the last one with her friends in the backyard for a barbecue. They were each special in their own way, but in the future I have decided that you may not have more parties than whatever half your age is (so she should have had 1.5 parties max!) *and* if you want more than 3 you must plan the rest yourself. That should hold her off until she's 10 or so I think. I made cupcakes, I bought cakes. I bought decorations, I made decorations. At her last party, which had the theme "Princesses and Pirates", I was gung-ho that I went to Michael's and spent more on craft projects than we spent on food. I spray painted little boxes which the kids decorated with sequins, foam stickers and such. We called them treasure chests.


Travel
We didn't go as many places as I thought we would, but we did manage to hit the Tahoe basin for every major weekend, and for a week long trip just a few weeks ago to celebrate Descartes' 40th birthday. He refused to let me throw him an actual party, but luckily all of our friends are turning 40, so he still gets to celebrate everywhere he goes. All of our plans changed at the last minute due to major high winds at the campground, so we ended up back in South Lake, so he did get to have a FAB-you-lus dinner at the Un-Buffet. It was not ungood and it was not unbad. We had fun sampling fairly decent food and spent more on cabs than we did on dinner :)

Jake had another round of his favorite thing ever.. Camp. He had a fantastic 1:1 aide for the week, and we actually sent him to the 7 night 8 day camp this year. He came home dirty and snotty and happy (The picture does not indicate much happiness, but that kid was so tired he could barely stand up). His 1:1 actually said "It was a pleasure. We had a great time. He ate a lot, and he loved going on the nature hikes." He soooo did not need to say those things. I didn't get even an ounce of that feeling when someone is trying so very hard to come up with a nice thing to say.

Family
We got to spend time with all three sets of grandparents, and our Tahoe family of course. I think that our extended family has a good picture of what our life looks like these days, and each little branch of family, in their own way, has figured out a way to support us.
It's also been wonderful to realize that our friends are becoming more and more like family. I think we are coming back out of our shell.. that hard coating we put on a few years back when we felt a little alone in the world, and a little (or a lot) burned.

Back-to-School
WunderSkool for Jake begins next week. We have a transition meeting and a bunch of paperwork, and I still have no idea about transportation times, but it will be a fresh start and every time we talk about it Jake gets this little squinty eye and a half smile. I have manageable expectations, but for the first time in a long time I have a bit of hope. I think Jake may actually be heard, and possibly better communicate his own needs. My mom said she hasn't heard me this happy in a long time. I don't know if I am "happy", I mean I want to be, and of course I am, with many many things, but "happy" sounds like "easy" and "simple" and those things I do not know much of lately. I am however feeling more buoyant, and I think that looks like happy. My shoulders don't hurt so much from carrying the weight of the world (cue violins). And life is changing even a bit more because we made sort of an abrupt decision to enroll Lucy in preschool. She did a little interview/trial run last week, and she loved the place, and they seemed to like her too. She will also start at the end of August and she will have French and art and coloring and running about and carpooling and backpacks and the whole deal. She is so, SO excited. I am happy for her because she is ready to go, but I am sad as well because this last year was not the same kind of year Jake had at that age. When Jake was 2-3 I went to the zoo and museums and the park and the library and out to lunch and every where. Lucy got to watch videos in the car as we drove back and forth to Jake's school averting disaster. I didn't get to jump in the car with her and take her to the City for a cable car ride for fear that we would be called back, and I certainly never ventured to the Aquarium. I cannot even count the number of miles I drove to Jake's school last year. I know Lucy will be fine. She has done enough "fun" things to not hate me, but *I* will remember that the last year she was ever at home..the last year she ever had without school... she was trapped in the beige
no-so-mini Van. It will sting a little less when I see her happy face after her first day of school I'm sure.

and so tomorrow Lucy and I head over to her new school to purchase a few uniforms. Tomorrow I place the order for Jake's back to school pants and shirts.

and we start a whole new chapter in our little life.
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